Data plans to blame for lack of mobile ‘net adoption

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browsingberry.jpgI’ve got my own $.02 on this, just hang tight for two seconds and you’ll get it. A piece put together by ArtsTechnica.com gives a little rundown as to why mobile internet is seeing such a low adoption rate. Well, not really a rundown – they flat-out blame data plans. And I agree for the most part, especially in Canada where it can get pretty pricey to own a BlackBerry.

The article looks into the Q, iPhone, and yes, the BlackBerry, and their carriers and why people aren’t enjoying the smartphone’s benefits just yet.

This comes down to a chicken versus egg problem. The high data plan costs are relatively high because of the small number of users making use of the services. Dropping prices could attract substantially more customers—but would it be enough to enough to cover the costs of these networks? At some point, the carriers will have to be more aggressive with their pricing, because as long as the data plans remain high, widespread adoption will be low.

So where does that leave us? We’re waiting for a catalyst, a must-have device that will throw the mobile Internet providers into a vicious competition for users that will see them devoting their attention to more than just business users and corporate accounts. Will the iPhone be that device? Maybe. There are plenty of big players trying to make this happen, and right now both Microsoft and RIM have a sizable lead on Apple, and Symbian isn’t doing too bad, either.

I agree with this, but I don’t think it’s the only reason people are slow to adopt. Maybe they don’t want or need that level of connectivity just yet, did you ever think about it? Instead of forcing devices and plans on customers, carriers need to start understanding exactly what their customers are looking for and tailoring their sales to that, not what’s hot and new. If someone mentions email, then you bring in the smartphone category.

Don’t force people into doing things – that’ll scare them away if the high data prices didn’t already.

  • http://beyondthebleedingedge.blogspot.com/ Andrew

    Don’t kid yourselves, data is dirt cheap, wireless or otherwise. The only reason (esp. in Can.) we don’t have unlimited data plans that are actually reasonable, is for 2 reasons.

    1. Carriers are a walled garden, and they don’t give a flying rats ass about anything other than ARPU.

    2. They are terrified of intelligent end point applications that circumvent IMS.

    Ironically the first carrier that offers a 49.00 unlimited world data plan would reap massive adoption, and drive innovation – Rogers ,are you listening?????

  • http://beyondthebleedingedge.blogspot.com Andrew

    Don’t kid yourselves, data is dirt cheap, wireless or otherwise. The only reason (esp. in Can.) we don’t have unlimited data plans that are actually reasonable, is for 2 reasons.

    1. Carriers are a walled garden, and they don’t give a flying rats ass about anything other than ARPU.

    2. They are terrified of intelligent end point applications that circumvent IMS.

    Ironically the first carrier that offers a 49.00 unlimited world data plan would reap massive adoption, and drive innovation – Rogers ,are you listening?????

  • Crimson

    I agree its due to high data plans. I actually removed my BB data plan from Rogers. Come on, $40 for 1MB, its stupid. I also filled out a survey for BB and commented on data plan prices. Until, BB and Rogers reduce prices, I’ll live without. If they never bring it down, I’ll just count on wifi hotspots. In essence, BB and Rogers are killing their own market. They could actually make more money. BB could account for even more of a percentage if they had a consumer-friendly data package. Oh well, I wait.

  • Crimson

    I agree its due to high data plans. I actually removed my BB data plan from Rogers. Come on, $40 for 1MB, its stupid. I also filled out a survey for BB and commented on data plan prices. Until, BB and Rogers reduce prices, I’ll live without. If they never bring it down, I’ll just count on wifi hotspots. In essence, BB and Rogers are killing their own market. They could actually make more money. BB could account for even more of a percentage if they had a consumer-friendly data package. Oh well, I wait.

  • Crimson

    Sorry….I wanted to say BB could have a much bigger market share if they had consumer-friendly packages. BB aren’t just for businesses anymore and if they want to grow, they need to address this.

  • Crimson

    Sorry….I wanted to say BB could have a much bigger market share if they had consumer-friendly packages. BB aren’t just for businesses anymore and if they want to grow, they need to address this.

  • http://wilbrod.blogspot.com/ math

    I most definately agree that data plans are a rip off. I have owned a BB for close to 5 months and have been on a promotion with Telus(Canada) where I get unlimited data. It expires in a month and I am really wondering what I should do. Should I just quit using data or should I fork out big bucks to get a 30mb plan. It’s extremely pricey if you go above your data plan limit and it is quite easy to go above a 4-5 mb plan.

  • http://wilbrod.blogspot.com/ math

    I most definately agree that data plans are a rip off. I have owned a BB for close to 5 months and have been on a promotion with Telus(Canada) where I get unlimited data. It expires in a month and I am really wondering what I should do. Should I just quit using data or should I fork out big bucks to get a 30mb plan. It’s extremely pricey if you go above your data plan limit and it is quite easy to go above a 4-5 mb plan.

  • http://wilbrod.blogspot.com math

    I most definately agree that data plans are a rip off. I have owned a BB for close to 5 months and have been on a promotion with Telus(Canada) where I get unlimited data. It expires in a month and I am really wondering what I should do. Should I just quit using data or should I fork out big bucks to get a 30mb plan. It’s extremely pricey if you go above your data plan limit and it is quite easy to go above a 4-5 mb plan.